Retail Industry

I have worked in retail for about five years now. You go into work, check in with your manager, go out on the floor, cash people out, help people find product, refold the mess those customers have made, and clock out for the day. Seems pretty basic right? But the world of retail is so complex and has many layers of various contributors in different fields.

CC BY-SA Dave Dugdale

Most of these job titles are common across all forms of retail. First off, we have a District Manager. This person obviously has a dense background in business to manage multiple stores. Under them, you have your store managers who are specific to that one store. Above a District Manager, you would start to get into the corporate side of the business. You have a customer service center for the company. This is where people who are good with people chat with them about problems or questions they may have. You also have accountants who work hand in hand on the numbers that the company is bringing in. These people typically have a decent mathematics background as well as an understanding of business.


You also have those who are making the actual product. Typically, clothing is made over seas. Within that, you have managers at the factories as well as the employees making the clothing. There will also be a group of fashion designers to create new product that relates to the companies standards. This then ties into marketing. Promoting new product and designing signs and displays for stores requires a certain expert that knows the physiological effects of how people shop and what words or colors pop out to customers and make them want to buy something. Yes, that is actually a thing. It is proven that certain words or colors featured in advertisements or posters hanging in the storefront make us want to buy more. Not to mention you also have the owner of the company itself. Maybe they just came up with a random idea one day and went with it or perhaps they did have a business degree and was able to successfully start their own.

All these job titles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retail. The amount of people in the corporate field itself is massive. You have your creative forces who design various items, you have your business core group who focus on the numbers and the structure of their businesses. Then you have the managers and sales associates who work one on one with the customers. It is a never ending game of shoots and ladders.

For an example, lets think about an athletic apparel store. They have a lot of athletes who are apart of the company and are sponsored to wear that apparel and do campaigns and commercials. Now they have brought in athletes who can give their opinion on what they like to wear for workouts and they get to design their own line. Athletes are therefore working one on one with those in the business are of the company in hopes that they will sell more product because we can see our favorite athletes wearing it. So depending on what kind of store you work at, people or celebrities that can be a face for that product are brought in as well which is just another layer of the onion.

Overall, business in my opinion is a never ending chain of various people with various disciplines coming together for one common purpose; to make a business successful and to bring in the money. Artists and intellectuals come together to create a business that thrives and creates the need for that company. Without your creative team or without your business smart folk, you can’t have a successful business model.

The Appeal of Interdisciplinarity

I originally did not know that the Interdisciplinary Studies program existed. I had never heard of it before coming to Plymouth State University. But it has become a crucial tool to my success thus far with obtaining this degree. My degree of Health Science is more like the fruit smoothie of Interdisciplinarity. Combining Athletic Training with Social Sciences creates the perfect blend. The appeal for most to this program is the fact that you can create whatever you want and combine as many disciplines as you would like. You can have a multidisciplinary major where you have combined a few different subjects but still keep them separate from each other. Or you can be like me and blend all of those subjects together to create a cohesive, blended major. There is no wrong or right method.

CCBY-Charly W. Karl.

This freedom gives us the chance as students to be more creative and provide something that is substantial for ourselves. We finally have been able to have a say in what we want in our future and from our education. In my opinion, this is the key to having a successful educational experience. “Interdisciplinary theory takes interdisciplinary knowledge, research, or education as its main objects of study.

So far, my only real exposure to interdisciplinary learning would be the intro class and the seminar class. In the seminar class, we are working on our capstone projects and research papers. This is where I am finally applying all of the disciplines that are in my major. We are given total creative freedom with these assignments and that just adds to the idea of interdisciplinarity. These courses aren’t just about getting the degree and getting the job, but more about allowing us to create the degree and job. “Today’s students fulfill general-education requirements, take specialized courses in their majors, and fill out their schedule with some electives, but while college catalogs euphemistically describe this as a “curriculum,” it is rarely more than a collection of courses, devoid of planning, context, and coherence.” This quote from Gregorian explains it all. As Interdisciplinary Studies majors, we are getting away from the cookie cutter structure of higher education.

On The Road to Athletic Training

Kelsey Dubia, Plymouth State University IDS Major

Over the years, I have been to various colleges and have accumulated quite a few credits. Majoring in General Studies for my Associate’s Degree at the New Hampshire Technical Institute, I took classes related to the social science field as well as other basic classes in mathematics and English. After I completed my first degree, I was unsure what I wanted to do next. So I kept on working at my many jobs, not taking my education any further for the time being. Then I stopped dancing which was something I had been doing since the age of four. I started going to the gym and getting into physical fitness to supplement that aspect of my life that I had lost. Changing my lifestyle from dance to going to the gym was where my connection to health sciences stemmed.

I transferred to Plymouth State with eighty-two credits. I wanted to start in the undergraduate program for Athletic Training but there was a catch. I had so many credits coming in that to start the undergraduate program would be more time consuming and costly. I learned that I could finish my degree with Interdisciplinary Studies and apply for the graduate program for Athletic Training. This is why this major works best for me. I was able to use my transfer credits as well as combine the following courses to act as a stepping stone towards a graduate program. For transfer students, Interdisciplinary Studies can be the best route.

The first two classes that I wanted to include are a major part of health sciences. BI 2110 Anatomy and Physiology I and BI 2120 Anatomy and Physiology II. These classes are the basic learning blocks to any human science discipline, but especially that of an Athletic Training degree. I received a lot of information from these two courses. While overwhelming, I found myself being able to utilize it all throughout my educational career thus far. Another standard building block is BI 1110 Biology II. This focuses on the human body on a smaller scale and the reactions that are taking place within the body.

I am currently taking PE 3570 Kinesiology and PE 4780 Exercise Prescription. Kinesiology is critical to understanding the forces exerted on the body and its mechanical movements. Exercise prescription is all about learning how to train and prescribe exercise to those who are looking for personal training or even just rehabilitation with an athlete. It mainly focuses on finding the right prescription for the client while keeping in mind their physical limitations. To understand both kinesiology and exercise prescription, PE 3580 Physiology of Exercise is a key foundation. This is where I was able to learn how the body responds to physical activity in various environments and how we utilize energy to carry out those activities.  In PE 2850 Wellness Choices, we explored various health epidemics and conditions in today’s societies. We also looked at various remedies for making healthier choices in our day to day lives.

I included MA 2300 Statistics into my contract. Even right now in Kinesiology, I am finding that we are using basic math equations for various calculations so math will always be something I can utilize.

I have taken a series of health, psychology, and sociology courses to gain insight into other disciplines to cover other spectrums of health science. HE 3220 Personal Nutrition taught me the basics of how my body is affected by various nutrients and how that can hinder performance and results. HE 2500 First Aid & CPR/AED gave me the tools for basic emergency care that I may need to use as an Athletic Trainer. PS 2010 Introduction to Psychology is an important aspect of health sciences that I believe will help me deal with emotions of my patients who may be going through physical trauma. PS 2050 Life-Span Developmental Psychology taught me how to understand human development throughout a lifespan. It also discusses various conditions that develop throughout life that may effect mental and physical well being.

Currently, I am taking SO 3500 Illness, Wellness, & Healing. It is based around the birth of medicine and disease and how that functions and interacts with our society as a whole. HE 3200 Stress Management was a useful course that I think should be a requirement. This course focused on various coping techniques for dealing with stress and also helped us recognize how we individually deal with our own stress. And lastly, CJ 3150 Society, Ethics, & Law was a course on ethical values and situations within our society as whole. We looked at various topics and had debates about whether we viewed something as ethical or unethical. It also gave us a look into law enforcement and the various subcultures within it.

This program is a stepping stone for my future endeavors. Combining courses that are needed for the Athletic Training graduate program and mixing in transfer credits that are based around social sciences brings my major full circle. Understanding mental health is just as important as understanding physical health. This program of Health Science is designed around both of those aspects and will help me learn how to administer the best care I can.



Prospectus RA

  • Title: Child Development in Gymnastics
  • Description/Intro: As a child, your body develops at a certain pace and a certain time. Young athletes surpass these milestones prematurely due to advanced physical activity and pressure. How does this effect their bodies? Is the outcome good or bad?
  • Goals: This topic is important to understand because kids are being compelled to go outside of their bodies natural progression due to pressure from coaches and parents. Developing early can cause issues later on down the road. This is important because as a future Athletic Trainer, more coaches need to be aware of what they are forcing on their athletes.
  • Conclusion: I could potentially be working with child athletes at some point in my career. Over all, progressed development can trigger early on retirement from their sport. I will also conclude with whether or not various studies and articles I have researched are in support of kid gymnasts/athletes or if they think the sport is more harmful than anything.
  • Timeline: For the first two weeks, I will focus on gathering information from the library database and scholarly articles online. The next week I will start the intro and the base of the paper. The following week I will work more on the body of the paper. The following week I will wrap up the body and conclusion. The following week I will work on the bibliography and sources. Then I will peer edit and have someone peer edit it after me.
  • Grammar: I will make sure it is peer edited
  • Images: Insert photos of child gymnasts as well as biological references. Licensed.
  • There will be multiple hot links.


Prospectus AP

  • Title: Shadowing Professionals
  • Description/Intro: As a student, I am very job and career oriented. I want to get the degree and get the job. This project of shadowing will help me put my foot in the door and make connections, but also see what the daily life of various professions related to my field are.
  • Goals: I want to can experience and insight now from professionals. While doing observation here at the school for Athletic Training, I want to take myself outside of the school and make connections that aren’t related to the school itself.
  • Deliverable: I will talk about the day to day life at each profession I observe with and what I took away from each of them. Maybe even list some of the things that I learned from them.
  • Conclusion: This project was linked to my life goals 100%. I will be able to put myself in a professional setting and gain connections that will come in handy later on hopefully. It could even open up internships which will help me even more with getting a job.
  • Timeline: This week I will email the PT I have been in contact with to make plans for me to come in. I am thinking I will observe during Spring Break because my work and school schedule are too demanding. I will also get in touch with the Chiropractor that I want to shadow with and make plans for me to shadow with him. After each shadow, I will write in a document what happened throughout the day so I have reference for when I put it all together for my ePort.
  • Grammar: Grammar will be double checked by myself and another pair of eyes.
  • Images: I am hoping I will be able to take images with the people I observe with and will share that in the post.
  • Hotlinks: Will hotlink their businesses as well as any other references.



For my applied project, I have decided to get into contact with a Physical Therapist and Chiropractor so I can shadow with them. I am very job oriented so getting an inside look at the daily life of these professions is what intrigues me most. I won’t necessarily be doing any research, but this will create connections for me that I may be able to use in the future as well.

CCBY Ms. Phoenix

The main challenge I see with this is just figuring out when I would be able to shadow with them. My school and work schedule is very tight so that will be the greatest challenge. But I am already in contact with a Physical Therapist that wants me to shadow him so that gives me a little bit of confidence with the project. After I finish my degree with IDS, I plan to go into the graduate program for Athletic Training. This project gives me a look into a regular schedule for someone related to my field and also gives me an opportunity to learn from other professionals in a related field.

CCBY-NC James Thomas

For my research article I am thinking that I want to research kid athletes and how their bodies develop as they progress in their sport. Particularly, I want to look at gymnasts. As we all know, gymnasts start very young and retire by their 20’s for the most part. They all have very small and strong bodies so researching what happens when you force it to change so early on in age is what intrigues me. The major challenge for this research article would be the fact that it is a research article itself! But also just making sure I can find enough information to fuel that process as well. This research relates to my major of Health Science because I plan to potentially work with kid athletes in the future. In order to understand an athlete, you need to understand their bodies and the changes that are happening.

Interview with Dr. Linda Levy

I knew exactly who I wanted to interview once we were given this assignment. Linda Levy is the department chair of the Department of Health & Human Performance. She has personally helped me with my educational career thus far here at Plymouth State University and was actually the one who told me I should go into Interdisciplinary Studies.

CC BY NC ND Keith Davenport

Question one:
Q: Right out of high school, did you start out right away with Athletic Training or did you start out with another major?
A: No I didn’t even know it existed up until my junior year when I transferred to Keene State and saw a course that looked exciting. I originally majored in Physical Education because that was the only option at the time.

Question two:
Q: What made you switch from Physical Education to Athletic Training?
A: It was that one class that I decided to take because it looked interesting. It just all clicked and made sense. I barely had to study to get A’s. It was sinking in to my brain and so easy for me. I was bored with Physical Education and it was my only choice really at the time until the Athletic Training major came along. It blended so well with what I wanted.
-I had told her that this is how most of us wish it would work. You just happen to take a class and everything clicks and makes sense and you just know that is what you’re supposed to do.

Question three:
Q: What courses do you teach specifically for AT right now?
A: Intro to AT, Prevention and Care of Injuries in the Active Population, Administration of Athletic Training, I was teaching Injury Assessment but someone else took that over. I also enjoy the Prevention course too though because it’s the first class that kind of opens up the brain and makes the connection with why you have been taking the A&P courses. It brings it full circle. That was my favorite class to teach. And I also teach the BOC prep class.

Question four:
Q: What attributes do you think are important for being an AT?
A: There are certain personality traits that make someone better at being a clinician. You really have to be someone who wants to know everything. You can never stop learning. You have to be empathetic so you can understand what that person is going through on their level. You have to be really organized. You have to have a personality that can deal with a person who potentially can’t play their sport anymore. You have to be willing to be the first person to get there and the last one to leave so you have to be flexible. You also have to be flexible with coaches who may change practice times. You really have to find the balance between life and work.
-I found this to be very helpful. Sometimes it isn’t just the education that is necessary at being great at your job. You need to keep in mind all of those basic life skills that come in handy and can help you.

Question five:
Q: Besides the required courses for AT, are there any other courses you think students should take that would be useful?
A: I think if there were more courses in nutrition or nutrition related illnesses and conditions that effect athletes would be good. More courses in neurology so you have a better understanding of how the nervous system works because that ties into athletic injuries and the result of that activity. Psychology too because you can learn to deal more with how people are dealing with certain issues or injuries.

Question six:
Q: What are some of the obstacles you think are being presented in the AT field/industry?
A: Two very important ones. One being they are moving to entry level positions that will need a master’s degree and related to that there are a lot of job openings that won’t pay the same kind of salary that other people with master’s degrees have. High schools aren’t going to raise their salaries just because they want to hire someone with a master’s degree. They’re going to keep the salaries as they are.
-Finding jobs and achieving a decent salary out of college is definitely the struggle that we all face as college students. We don’t know if we will be able to find a job that we want and if we do, will they pay a proper amount that allows us to support ourselves? Linda had said that within the next four years or so we will see how that entry level really effects Athletic Trainers.

Question seven:
Q: Do you find IDS to be an important major to have at a University?
A: Absolutely, regardless of what you’re studying, to be able to leave your academic environment and go to a working place and realize you’re working with people who have learned different things but all have a say in what that thing is that you’re trying to do makes life easier because you don’t have to figure it out.

Overall, this interview gave me some insight from someone in the field as to what they look for in an Athletic Trainer and what is expected. It was more of a behind the scenes look into what our professors want to see from us and I found that super valuable. I am hoping that once I get into some of the hands on AT courses, it will all click with me just like it did with her.

Get Used To It

CCBY – alamosbasement

If you were to tell me that technology would disappear in a year, I would probably bet everything I have and own against you. Technology will forever be around so we all might as well get used to it. We see Plymouth State and other institutions becoming more technology friendly and accepting the fact that we might as well incorporate this into our learning experiences. But do we necessarily own all of the work that we do and have unlimited access?

In the article by Watters, Bryan Jackson mentions that we already have basic profiles of ourselves but we don’t actually own them or have control over them. He said, “I wanted them to see and be aware of all of the options and the control that they are giving up when services such as Facebook are their primary web presence.” If we are going to create a profile of ourselves and share things that we personally care about, we might as well have full control of that right?

Domains that we can use throughout our career at university can showcase everything that we exude and represent. We can focus our domains towards what we want out of life in hopes that those related to our field will see that. We always get told by our professors to follow our dreams be the person that we want to be, but we had never really had the platform to do that before. Gardner Campbell says, “many students simply want to know what their professors want and how to give that to them. But if what the professor truly wants is for student to discover and craft their own desires and dreams, a personal cyberinfrastructure provides the opportunity.”

All of these readings made me think about what we have access to right now. I look at a lot of this from a commuters perspective which can be a little different compared to those who live on campus. Online classes are a life saver for us. We can save some gas and give more hours to work throughout the week. We can maintain our regular routine without having to be at school every day of the week.

But what is the catch with online resources and books? We don’t have access to them once that course is over. I still struggle to understand the concept behind that. Lets have these students pay hundreds of dollars for their classes and books and give them online access as well, but have their access expire once the course is over. Audrey Watters said, “Contrary to what happens at most schools, where a student’s work exists only inside a learning management system and cannot be accessed once the semester is over – the domain and all its content are the student’s to take with them. It is, after all, their education, their intellectual development, their work.”

As students, I think we all struggle with feeling like we have control over our education. We feel as though we are getting the short end of the stick and like nothing actually belongs to us even though we pay the price for it. Domains are something that we can have full control over and no one can tell us otherwise. Obviously, there are certain assignments that are given to post on our domain. But even those posts are customized to ourselves and our studies. IDS is giving us all the opportunity to create what we want with little limitations. We are owning everything that we do towards this degree.

We don’t have to be misrepresented anymore. As Andrew Rickard states, “How often do traditional ‘assignments’ misrepresent student interests, passion, and rigor? Giving a student ownership over data means nothing if it doesn’t allow them to determine that data.” With our domains, we no longer have to fit a mold that is put in place. We are all different, so why are we subjected to the same routine and materials?

What Became the Norm

Dance quickly became my every day life routine at the age of four. Looking back in the past, all I can remember is going to dance class every day and learning something new. Tilton, New Hampshire. The town where the studio was that became my second home. I was always trying to be the best. My teacher would always refer to me as Bullet. I would fly across that floor with footwork. As I think back, my teacher Tracy is there as well as fellow youngsters. We would stand on a certain number and go through basic routines and play games. We would all be wearing leotards with cute skirts and would be making faces at ourselves in the giant wall of mirrors in front of us. I remember my pink little backpack that carried my ballet shoes and tap shoes. At the end of each class we would get a sticker for participating. That was the best part! Little did I know, I would continue on with this for the next twenty years.

All of that is my history. The plan is to go into the graduate program for Athletic Training after I finish up my bachelors in IDS. I’ve spent my whole life around athletes who are constantly improving their art and trying to get stronger and recover from injuries. As I was growing up and dancing I never thought about Athletic Training as a career. Honestly, I didn’t even know it existed. But the connection is so obvious now. Had I known what I know now about the human body, I would have been ten times better for having that knowledge. Maybe I could have continued with dance and gotten more opportunity. Now it is my turn to help others do this with their athletics.